A taxi driver counts his money inside his classic car on January 16, 2009 in Havana, Cuba.
Credit: Rodrigo Arangua

Cuba announced Tuesday that it was shutting down its consular services in the United States after saying that no bank would handle its business.

The decision risks travel between Cuba and the United States, which has increased under the Obama administration.

It also threatens travel during the busy holiday season.

The Cuban Interests Section of the country's diplomatic mission in Washington said that its bank in the US, Buffalo-based M&T, announced that it would no longer provide banking services.

The Obama administration has actively tried to keep the bank handling the Cuban mission's money to no avail.

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"The Department of State has been actively working with (the Cuban Interests Section) to identify a new bank to provide services to the Cuban missions," a spokeswoman for the State Department said.

It is not believed to be a politically-motivated move.

Instead, M&T bank could have decided that its Cuban account was not financially viable due to currency issues.

M&T has reportedly halted all of its diplomatic accounts and Cuba was its last.

Cuba says that it has not been able to find another US bank willing to handle its accounts due to the economic embargo the US has placed on the country.

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